Last year we saw Twitter go mainstream and despite reports that it might not remain popular, it appears to be stronger than ever. People (and businesses) realised it was so much more than updating your followers with what you had for lunch.
Take your Twitter and Facebook strategy one step further by including competitions to engage and reward your followers. CP Communications has been exploring and implementing social media competitions for clients and gaining remarkable results.
Why you should run a competition
1. To find new fans – The hope is that the lure of prizes will draw followers in and those that like what they see will stick around in the future. To claim a prize an individual needs to either follow you (on Twitter) or become a fan (on Facebook) to be able to claim their prize – meaning they have to sign up!
2. To reward loyal fans – Most social media sites have fans or followers that have been around from the start. I know that on our @CPCPR and @CatrionaPollard Twitter accounts there are a number of long term followers that make an effort to specifically read our tweets. A competition is a great way of giving something back to these fans and provides them with a reason to keep supporting you.
3. To increase participation – When you first start out in social media it is often difficult to get people to visit your site/fan page/or follow you. It is even more difficult to get them to interact with you. A competition gives them something to talk about with you and your community. It gives them something to get involved in, to comment on and to ask questions about. It makes it more exciting and gives people an incentive to become involved.
4. Create a buzz – Everybody loves free stuff and a competition gives people something to talk about. People will start talking about what is being given away and others that see this will be attracted to your site to check out what all the fuss is about – and get in on the action too. A competition creates a positive buzz around your competition, generates a positive vibe to anyone that visits your site and also sheds a positive light on your brand and your community.
Stuck for ideas?
1. We have seen celebrities running successful twitter competitions for huge prizes, including new cars, large sums of money, and the chance to go on holidays with them. One of these competitions offered a donation of $100,000 to a charity of a fans choice. The competition called for fans to convince the celebrity why it should be their chosen charity in 140 words or less.
2. Similarly, CopyBlogger.com ran a short story competition on Twitter. To enter, fans were called to tell a story in 140 characters or less. The winning entry was:
“Time travel works!” the note read. “However you can only travel to the past and one-way.” I recognized my own handwriting and felt a chill.
3. Intellectual twitter competitions can also be implemented such as the one run by @stephenfry: Stephen Fry, British actor and comedian. His tweet was:
“L=50 in Roman. The best tweet containing exactly 50 Ls will win. All tweets to contain the tag #L and none to exceed 140 character limit SF”
4. More simply you can include a 140 character tweet with important information that you want passed around. You need to include the incentive (the prize) and a time frame for the competition. If any of the winners are not followers all you need to do is request them to direct message you their address so you can send their prize – this makes sure they are following you. Such as:
“Starlight Cinema opens this wed 13 Jan with In the Loop at Nth Syd Oval. 1st 20 people to RT this win tickets to opening night”
5. If your objective is to drive people to your website, you can simply ask a quiz question that requires fans to visit your website for their answer. Such as:
“What’s the name of the movie showing tonight at Starlight Cinema? The 1st 10 ppl to answer win a double pass”
Remember to keep these tweets to about 120 characters giving people enough room to retweet them.
6. If you already have enough followers on twitter and want to increase your Facebook fans you can use your Twitter account to direct people to your fan page. Once directed to Facebook, they will need to become a fan to view your site. In your tweet you need to give them directions of what to do once they are there, such as:
“The first 20 people to write Starlight Cinema is awesome on our Facebook page win a double pass” (It is a good idea to include a tiny url to direct them there).
7. Finally, if you are aiming to increase participation on your Facebook fan page you can ask people to upload photos of themselves or their friends attending your event, using your product etc to your site – and give them an incentive to do this. You can publicise this through social media channels as well as in store, at the event etc.
Social media competitions are all about creativity, getting people interested and keeping true to what social media is all about – relationships and communication. They are not limited to Facebook and Twitter but can be used across all types of social media. They are however, limited by your imagination!
Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.